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  • Tim Kabel

About Yesterday Afternoon: The Yankees Outlast the Rays 5-4


About Yesterday Afternoon: The Yankees Outlast the Rays 5-4

By Tim Kabel

April 22, 204

***

The Yankees won yesterday 5-4, behind the solid pitching of Luis Gil and offensive contributions by several players. They scored four runs in the fifth inning to take the lead. They almost gave that lead back in the eighth inning but managed to hang on for the victory. They are now 15-7 and sit atop the American League East. They have the second-best record in the American League. They continue to win series with the exception of the one against Toronto earlier this week. Things are looking good, and the Yankees are doing this without Gerrit Cole, DJ LeMahieu, Jasson Dominguez, Lou Trivino, and Tommy Kahnle.  Things should only get better when they return.

 

Quick Stats – 

 

·       The Yankees have won six of their first seven series.

 

·       Luis Gil had a career-high nine strikeouts. It was technically ten, if you count the one he lost to catcher’s interference.

 

·       The Yankees scored four runs in the fifth inning, all with two outs. 

 

·       Ben Rortvedt joins Estevan Florial as another player who suddenly learned to hit after leaving the Yankees. Combine that with Oswaldo Cabrera’s resurgence and it equals a black mark on Dillon Lawson’s record.

 

·       On April 21st, 1977, Billy Martin reacted to the Yankees 2-8 slump in the previous 10 games by choosing the lineup out of out of a hat. The Yankees won the game 8 to 6. I don't imagine Aaron Boone ever doing such a thing. I don't think he could choose which hat to use without someone from the analytics team telling him.

 

·       During the game, Meredith Markovitz announced that she was going to dinner at 4 Charles, a very exclusive steakhouse in New York City. Michael Kay lamented that he has not been able to get in there and was told the wait list was four months long. Meredith does not eat meat.That would be like someone who hates sweets getting the golden ticket to Willie Wonka’s factory.

 

·       Technically, yesterday began the post-John Sterling era for the New York Yankees. Regardless of your opinion of his broadcasting style, you had to admire his dedication, diligence, and love for the Yankees. He will be missed. I was a little disappointed with the ceremony honoring him but when I thought about it, I realized it was probably because it was arranged so quickly. I would not be surprised to see me Yankees honor him in Monument Park at some point or perhaps name the Yankees’ radio broadcast booth after him. It might be nice to name it after both him and Suzyn Waldman since they shared it for the last 20 years and she broke ground by being Baseball’s first female color commentator. They could call it the “That's Baseball, Suzyn” radio booth.

 

Big Story – 

 

The Yankees will now play fourteen games in a row against Oakland, Milwaukee, Baltimore, and Detroit. How they do in this stretch could set the tone for the season. I realize it's early but, they should be able to beat Oakland and more than hold their own against the others. If they can't, then maybe they really aren't contenders. They need to build up a big lead and this time, unlike 2022, they need to maintain it. If they can do that while missing key parts of the team, then maybe they are for real.  

 

Player of the Game – 

 

Luis Gil seems to be developing into a dominant starting pitcher. If he can control the walks, and keep his pitch count down he could be something special.

 

 

Notable Performances – 

 

Alex Verdugo had three hits and two RBI and is really coming around offensively. He is a better all-around player that I gave him credit for.

 

Oswaldo Cabrera had two hits and an RBI and some fine defensive plays at third base. He is batting over .300 and is second on the team in RBI with 14, behind Juan Soto. It was interesting to see that DJ LeMahieu’s rehab assignment was delayed because his foot has not fully healed. This is another example of him trying to rush back before he is truly ready. It is a good thing the doctors intervened and delayed it, at least somewhat. The longer that Cabrera plays well, the less sense it makes to automatically hand the third base job back to LeMahieu.

 

Better to Forget – 

 

Dennis Santana almost single handedly gave the game back to Tampa Bay. He gave up three runs in the eighth inning. Most alarming was the fact that no one was warming up behind him in the bullpen.

 

My Take – 

 

The Yankees are in first place they are winning without their Cy Young award-winning pitcher and other key components, including a former batting champion. You would think the things would be both hunky and dory for the Yankees. On the surface they are. However, there are concerns.

 

No team can win every game. Every team will lose games. Every team will have losing streaks. The key to a successful season is winning the games that you should win and that you are winning. I have written repeatedly that I don't believe the Yankees will win the World Series with Aaron Boone as their manager. Yesterday was another red flag to back up that argument. The Yankee seemingly had the game in hand and were winning 5-1 going into the 8th inning. Aaron Boone brought in Dennis Santana, who did everything he could to give the game to the Rays. The alarming aspect to all of this is that Boone did not have anyone else warming up behind Santana in the bullpen. If Ben Rortvedt had gotten a hit instead of lining out to Juan Soto, the game would have been tied. Still, there was no one to bring in to replace Santana. That is a concern.

 

If the Yankees don't have anyone else in the bullpen whom Boone trusts, why are they there? This is only April. They now have a stretch of 14 games in a row. If Boone is not able to effectively manage his bullpen now, what is going to happen later in the season. I understand he doesn't want to overwork people but if there are pitchers he doesn't want to use, they shouldn't be there.  

 

Yes, the Yankees did win the game, but it became a lot closer than it had to be. Eventually, games that look closer than they have to be will turn into losses. I'm afraid that we will wind up in October as the playoffs are beginning with Aaron Boone sitting at his desk saying, “Well, things just slipped away from us. That's what happens in baseball. It's part of the game.”

 

I hope I am wrong but in the words of the late Yogi Berra, “It's like deja vu, all over again.” Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner should keep a very close eye on this and if they need to make a change, they should do it sooner rather than later.  Because later will be too late.

 

Next Up – 

 

Today, the Yankees open a four-game series against the Oakland A’s at 1:05 PM at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees will play three series in a row against the Jays, the Rays, and the A's. Who designed the schedule, Dr. Seuss?  Carlos Rodon, (1-1, 3.66 ERA) will face Oakland’s JP Sears, (1-1, 4.36 ERA).

8 Comments


Alan B.
Alan B.
Apr 22

Not a lot of trusted arms on the pen? Then why didn't they properly stretch out all 5 starters in Spring Training? Also, when do the Yankees pitching brain trust start getting some heat for a multi year problem - too many pitchers who can't put guys away and give up a ton of foul balls?


As for DJ, did the doctors intervene, or did the imaging actually show still a problem with DJ's foot? I'm betting the imaging won out. Remember, I don't think DJ will even get a 7 game rehab assignment before being activated.


The difference between Florial and Rortvedt is that until Dominguez got hurt, Florial never got regular playing time, at least Rortvedt did. Oh,…

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fuster
Apr 22

about the pitching.....


Gil seems as though he's beginning to cut back on issuing those walks to first base. only three yesterday one of which appeared to be due to an unfavorable call on 3-2


as for

If the Yankees don't have anyone else in the bullpen whom Boone trusts, why are they there?

a good point.


Burdi

Efross

Kahnle

Loaisiga

Trevino


are notably MIA


I think that 2 or 3 of these guys are expected to return to the pen in a few weeks

they might be bringing a bit of trustworthiness with them.


I still think that the pen could use a big, hairy lefty throwing 98 mph....

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Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
Apr 22
Replying to

Two of Gil's walks occurred with two outs in the 6th, the last batters he faced. I think he just ran out of gas. Through 86 pitches, he had only one walk.

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jeff
Apr 22

The bullpen talent isn't what it had been in previous seasons. High leverage relievers need to be acquired by other teams, not relievers who were DFAed and put on waivers by other teams, but instead, dominant setup men, and a dominant closer (with Holmes moving to a high leverage setup role).


The Yankees are not feeling the sting of being without Gerrit Cole for an extended period of time due to the great pitching performances of Luis Gil, who is in the rotation only because Cole is not. The other starters are doing their jobs. Most of the losses the Yankees have had were not due to failure of the starting pitcher, but rather, failure of a few guys …


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Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
Apr 22
Replying to


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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Apr 22

Love this:


"The Yankees will play three series in a row against the Jays, the Rays, and the A's. Who designed the schedule, Dr. Seuss?"

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Alan B.
Alan B.
Apr 22
Replying to

Then they have 3 @MIL and 4 @BAL.

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